A Chicago man who was convicted as a teen for murder will now be freed from prison after his conviction was overturned after 37 years behind bars. The National Registry of Exonerations reported that this was the 3,000th conviction lifted since 1989 when the registry began tracking overturned convictions. The suspect was released from prison after 30 years behind bars, but not because his conviction was overturned — because he was paroled. He will now have the conviction expunged from his record, for all the good it will do him, and he will seek a certificate of innocence from the state.
The defendant was framed by a group of rogue officers operating within Chicago P.D. during the late 80s. The police found the teen walking down the street, beat him, and charged him with murder. The group resorted to framing, planting evidence, and gaining confessions through torture and beatings.
Exculpatory evidence had been suppressed at the original trial and the defense attorney representing the wrongfully-convicted defendant said he did not know about witness testimony that would have tied another man to the shooting.
A major player in this case, Reynaldo Guevera is accused of running a Vic Mackey-style operation on Chicago streets. For those who watched the controversial hit television show, The Shield, you remember that Mackey’s operation resulted in many questionable arrests, used tactics better suited to Medieval warfare, but helped the department close a lot of cases. Eventually, it all caught up with him. The same can be said of Guevera. Today, the City of Chicago has paid out over $75 million to settle claims related to Guevera arrests. Now that this defendant had his conviction vacated, the sum will likely increase. Guevara collects two pensions on the taxpayers’ dime and is still fighting off civil rights claims. Thus far, Guevara has never been charged with a crime. Guevera invoked his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination when fielding questions concerning this particular defendant.
Well, the defendant has had his conviction vacated seven years after he was paroled. Since his civil rights were determined to have been violated by the arresting officers, who in this case coerced a confession by dumping him in enemy gangland territory and letting rivals have at him, he will be entitled to file a complaint and a claim with the City of Chicago and a second complaint against Guevera directly. These complaints are likely to be paid out as all the others have, so hopefully, this man gets to live off of his settlement and have an easy life after wrongfully serving three decades on a bogus charge.
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